Anti-Terrorism Council to publish names of persons tagged as terrorists – Esperon

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2021   •   375

MANILA, Philippines – The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) will release on Thursday a list of individuals who have been designated as terrorists, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. told the Supreme Court during oral arguments on petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 on Wednesday.

Esperon disclosed this information when he spoke for the first time at the oral arguments on petitions seeking to nullify the anti-terror law.

Esperon said the Communist Party of the Philippines, its armed wing New People’s Army and some of organizations linked to the communist group have already been designated by the ATC as terrorists.

He also answered in the affirmative when asked by Supreme Court Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang if individuals have also been designated as terrorists.

“I do not want to preempt the Anti-Terrorism Council because I have not seen yet the publication today or tomorrow, of the designation of several persons connected with the CPP-NPA, but we will do that,” Esperon told the high court.

“Are you at liberty to name these people since there have been designations already made?” Carandang asked.

“There is a resolution of the Anti-Terrorism Council but until we have published these in local papers, we will not name them publicly, your Honor. Tomorrow, they will come out in the papers,” said Esperon, who also serves as ATC vice chairperson.

Under Section 25 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, the ATC has the authority to designate individuals, group of individuals, organizations or associations as terrorists without a court hearing.

This will allow the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets of designated personalities or organizations.

Individuals tagged as terrorists have 15 days to file a request for delisting.

Meanwhile, Esperon stressed that the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Law is necessary in the country, especially at a time when terrorism continues to evolve and worsen.

The security adviser also expressed belief that the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 is better than the Human Security Act of 2007 that the new measure had repealed.

“We have the weakest anti-terrorism law if we refer the Human Security Act in this region or in the world. This is one reason probably that we are number 10 in the global terrorism index,” he said.

PH logs 18,449 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday recorded 18,449 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the country’s total to 2,509,177, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Of the new cases, the DOH said that 17,953 were reported from Sept. 14 to 27.

The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were National Capital Region (NCR) with 3,060 or 17%, Region 4-A with 2,465 or 14%, and Region 3 with 1,922 or 11% , it added.

Of the nationwide total, 158,169 cases are active – 78.7 percent of which are mild, 3.42 percent are moderate, 15.3 percent are asymptomatic, 1.7 percent are severe, and 0.8 percent are in critical condition.

Total recoveries climbed to 2,313,412 after 21,811 more patients recuperated from the disease.

The DOH also reported 93 new fatalities, raising the death toll to 37,494.

The agency noted in its bulletin that backlog deaths will be reported in separate advisories.

The DOH also said that 130 duplicates were removed from the total case count, while 227 cases previously tagged as recoveries have been validated to be active cases.

Some 117 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation, it added.

The DOH said two laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Data from the agency also showed a positivity rate of 23.5 percent out of the 68,678 tests reported on Sept. 25.

The DOH said that ICU beds allotted for COVID-19 patients are 75 percent occupied nationwide, and 77 percent in the NCR.

Ventilators allotted for COVID-19 cases are 54 percent in use nationwide, and 58 percent in the NCR.

PH posts 18,659 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday logged 18,659 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 2,453,328 since the pandemic began.

In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health said the new single-day tally brought the number of active cases to 175,324.

Of these cases, 88.1 percent are mild, 2.84 percent are moderate, 6.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.5 percent are severe, and 0.7 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said only one accredited testing laboratory failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,240,599 after 9,088 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll remained at 37,405 as no new fatalities were reported.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 24.2 percent out of the 76,624 tests conducted on Sept. 22.

Positive COVID-19 antigen test results now included in case count – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The number of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 through rapid antigen tests will now be included in the Philippines’ case count, Malacañang said Friday.

In a televised briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) reached the decision during their meeting on Thursday in an aim to improve the reporting of COVID-19 cases.

“’Yan po ang ating objective para mas maging mabuti yung picture natin kung ilan ang total cases natin,” Roque said.

He, however, clarified that these tests will be subjected to confirmatory tests.

The use of antigen test is mostly effective for people who already manifested symptoms within the first five days of their onset as the viral load of the patient is at the highest during this time.

In line with this, the IATF directed the Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development to monitor and facilitate registration of facilities using rapid antigen kits.

They must also ensure that antigen line tests are collected and consolidated from health facilities, localities, as well as temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

“Kaugnay nito, ang Department of Health NCR Center for Health Development ay inatasang mag-facilitate ng registration ng facilities na gumagamit ng rapid antigen kits,” he said.

“Augmentation of disease surveillance surveillance staff and encoders are considered to ensure that line lists are generated and submitted on a daily basis,” he added.

As of Sept. 23, the Philippines has 165,780 active COVID-19 cases based on DOH data.

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